How to Train a Shih Tzu Puppy Easy Tricks

How to Train a Shih Tzu Puppy Easy Tricks
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon2-6 Weeks
Fun training category iconFun

Introduction

Shih Tzu puppies are filled with personality. They are adorable and easy to love. Your Shih Tzu could entertain you all day with his antics and affection. But when it comes to training, he could be a tad bit stubborn. He’ll learn basic commands and fun tricks, but prepared to repeat commands several times before he bothers to care. Easy tricks should come with a huge price in the form of a delicious treat reward and lots of time training. When you start training your Shih Tzu easy tricks, he’ll start to see just how fun and rewarding learning can be and building new tricks will become easier.

Easy tricks are the best place to start with your puppy. Starting with the 'sit' command and building up to fun, simple tricks is a great place to start with basic training for your Shih Tzu. He will have fun, build his cuteness skills, and learn a few things too. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Defining Tasks

Don’t let anyone convince you your sweet Shih Tzu is too stubborn to train. That’s not true. Positive reward training works great for Shih Tzu pups because they are motivated by enticing rewards. But to keep your Shih Tzu engaged enough to learn even the simplest of tricks, he’ll need redirection as well. You’ll need to show him the opposite consequence if he doesn’t do the trick. If his rewards are not enticing enough, up the ante with some dried liver or tiny bits of cut up steak. Your Shih Tzu puppy will work for food. Start simple trick training as early as you can. Let your little guy know just how boring life can be without fun tricks. Start with one trick and repeat it several times before moving onto the next trick. This could take weeks.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Getting Started

In order to train even easy tricks, your Shih Tzu will need quiet and short training sessions with you. Make these free of distractions and keep them short so you can keep your fuzzball’s attention. Don’t forget those highly rewarding treats to entice as well as encourage him to keep learning. If you need to keep your little guy focused and in one place for training, you can place him on a leash to have better control over him. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

The High Fives Method

Most Recommended

2 Votes

Ribbon icon

Most Recommended

2 Votes

Ribbon icon
1

Sit

Have your Shih Tzu sit and give him a treat for obeying this command.

2

Second treat

Show your Shih Tzu a second treat by holding it up near his nose but do not allow him to have it. Move it slightly out of his reach.

3

Command

Give your Shih Tzu the command "high five" and touch one of his paws with the hand holding the treat.

4

Paw up

Your Shih Tzu's nose will likely follow your hand to his paw because you have a treat. Move your hand away and tap his paw again. After a tap, your Shih Tzu will likely lift up his paw.

5

Tickle

Once your Shih Tzu has his paw off the ground, gently tickle it with your fingers to get it to lift higher.

6

Repeat command

Say the command "high five" one more time. And after tickling his paw once his paw touches your hand in a high-five motion, give him that treat.

7

Practice a lot

This is an easy trick for your Shih Tzu to learn, but he's going to need some practice and lots of repetition. With practice, you should be able to say the command to 'high-five' and he should lift up his paw and tap it to your hand, expecting the treat once he does so.

The Obedience Commands Method

Effective

2 Votes

Ribbon icon

Effective

2 Votes

Ribbon icon
1

The commands

The easiest tricks to teach your Shih Tzu are going to be the few basic obedience commands. These commands will be 'sit', 'down', 'stay', 'come', and basic leash training. Choose how you're going to train your Shih Tzu, whether positive reward with treats or clicker reward training methods.

2

Sit

The 'sit' command is the easiest command to train. Stand in front of your Shih Tzu, hold a treat over his nose, and slowly move the treat back behind his head. As your little guy lifts up his chin to follow the treat back with his nose and eyes in hopes of earning it, he will likely sit down. When he does this, give him the reward of a click and treat or just the treat you have in your hand if you are not clicker training.

3

Lie down

Ask your Shih Tzu to sit then entice him to lie down. To do this, take a treat and put it down towards the ground then pull it away from your pup. His nose and mouth will likely follow. In order to reach the treat, he will lie down, stretching his front paws forward and laying his belly and chest to the ground. When he does this, say the command "down" and give him the treat.

4

Stay

Ask your Shih Tzu to sit. Give him a treat for obeying this command. Take a step back away from your pup and say the word "stay". If he stays for a moment while you step away from him, quickly come back and give him a reward. Practice this several times taking steps farther away from him as you train.

5

Come

If your Shih Tzu learns the 'stay' command, he's going to need to know how to be released from that position. To do this you need to teach him to come. To teach this, say his name and show him a treat. If you need to lean forward to get the treat closer to his nose feel free to do this at first. Say the command "come" and as soon as he gets up to come to you give him the treat. Repeat this often with the command and the reward.

6

Leash training

Your Shih Tzu is going to require lots of time training on the leash if you expect him to have leash manners. Put him on a leash, go for a short walk together, even if it's simply inside your home, and give him lots of rewards as long as he's behaving well on the leash. This is positive reward-based training. Practice a lot and reward good behavior.

The Dance Method

Least Recommended

1 Vote

Ribbon icon

Least Recommended

1 Vote

Ribbon icon
1

Introduce trick

Dancing might be an advanced trick for most dogs. Your Shih Tzu, however, dances all the time automatically. It's just not considered a trick until you recognize it. This also means you need to reward when your Shih Tzu is dancing.

2

Sit

Have your Shih Tzu sit by holding a treat up over his nose then and then slowly moving it back towards his tail. He will likely sit just to follow the treat with his nose. When he does, say the command "sit" and give him the treat he's earned.

3

Fun treat

Hold a treat up over your Shih Tzu's head and use a command such as "dance". Lift the treat up higher, encouraging him to stretch up on his hind legs.

4

Reward

As your Shih Tzu rises up taller, give him a treat but be prepared with another treat to get him to move in a dancing position.

5

Dancing

With the second treat, move it side to side and back and forth or in a circular motion to get your Shih Tzu to dance.

6

Reward often

With practice, your Shih Tzu can stay up on his back paws for a long period of time. Be sure to offer different treats to get him to move in different ways, circling, going backward, forward, or even side to side in a dancing formation.

7

Practice

With lots of practice, your Shih Tzu should be able to dance on command going in all the directions you have taught him. Be sure to give him treats throughout his dance to keep him going.

By Stephanie Plummer

Published: 03/14/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

Have a question?

Training Questions and Answers

Dog nametag icon

Hero

Dog breed icon

Shorkie

Dog age icon

Thirteen Months

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found this helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found this helpful

This is my first shorkie ever and Hero is very energetic and lots of energy he was given to me and I fell in love with him but I'm needing some information on taking him on his collar issue he has with it and what good to get him he's chewed off 2 collars and hate the leash what a good way to train him ???

Feb. 5, 2023

Hero's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I would ease into the collar. Instead of trying to get pup's head in the collar all at once, spend one day simply laying the collar on the ground and sprinkling treats around it several times a day. Do this until pup is comfortable touching it without you holding the collar - go at pup's pace. Watch their body language and stay at this step until pup is relaxed again around the collar. That may take one training session or a week - depending on how suspicious pup is of the collar at this point. Practicing for short periods multiple times a day can help things go more quickly. Once pup is comfortable just touching the collar, hold it in your hand and have pup eat treats out of the hand that is holding the collar. Do this until pup isn't worried about you holding the collar up anymore - don't try to suddenly put it on pup yet or that will set you back. Practice at this step until pup looks happy and confident again with the collar just being held up. End the training session while pup is doing well still. Next, loosen the collar as much as you can so that it makes a large loop, hold the collar up with one hand and hold the treats through the collar's hole with your other hand, so that pup has to move their head toward the collar hole to eat the treats - don't require pup to put their head through the hole yet, just in front of the hole. Do this step until pup is happy and confident about the collar being held up and approaching it - do NOT suddenly try to throw the collar over pup's head or move it toward them - pup is the one moving, you are keeping the collar still at this point. Practice that step until pup is relaxed - even if that takes several sessions. Next, hold the collar the same way, but offer the treats a bit closer to the collar, so that pup has to poke the end of their muzzle through the collar loop to take them. Practice this until pup is comfortable doing that. As pup relaxes, move your treat hand a bit further back so that pup is poking their head through the collar more and more as they improve - again, don't move the collar toward pup at this point. Let pup move their head in and out of the loose collar freely to get treats. Practice until pup has no issues with placing their head through the collar. Go back a step and practice at that step for longer before continuing if pup becomes nervous again. Next, once pup is comfortable poking their entire head through the collar, move the collar very slightly back and forth while holding it up, and holding treats in the collar for pup to move their head through it - you are just getting pup used to the collar moving, not putting it on yet. The collar should still be a large loop at this point - not fitted. Practice until pup can handle the collar moving. As pup improves, gradually increase how much the collar is moving back and forth while pup reaches their head through it. Next, have pup poke their head through the collar, and reward pup with several treats at a time for keeping their head in the hole for longer. Gradually increase how long pup holds their head in the collar for by spacing out rewards as they keep their head in the hole. Next, when pup can hold their head in the collar for longer, have pup poke their head through the collar, sprinkle several treats on something that's at pup's chin height so that your hands are free, and slide the buckle that adjusts the collar size back and forth while pup eats the treats. Start with small movements then stop touching the collar - you are just getting pup used to you messing with the collar a bit. Practice this until you can gradually work up to being able to adjust the size of the collar completely without pup feeling worried, while they eat the treats off the object at chin height. Once pup is can hold their head in the collar for several minutes while you adjust it, without being worried, adjust it to the proper size and leave it on pup for at least two weeks, to help pup get used to the feeling of wearing it around. Most dogs will scratch at it and feel like it's itchy for at least a week when you first have them wear a collar. Choose a collar that's safe for pup to keep on - such as a durable plain buckle collar - not a prong or choke or other training collar that could tighten or accidentally correct. When you catch pup biting or scratching at the collar, distract pup with a fun toy. Check out the video linked below for an example of getting pup to poke their head through an opening. The dog in that video wasn't afraid of the harness during training - so the training was done in one sitting for the sake of showing the steps, but expect your pup to need several sessions between each training step - moving too quickly will likely set pup back. Pup needs to get to the point where they are completely relaxed at the current step before you proceed to the next step - how long that takes will simply depend on pup's specific temperament. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn5b8u1YS_g&feature=emb_title When you put the collar on, it sounds like you might also be putting it on too loosely, allowing pup together their mouth under it. Some dogs are especially skilled at finding ways to access it anyway, but without choking pup, make sure the collar isn't hanging loose where pup can access, a bit more snug and high on the neck to avoid access while they are getting used to it can help prevent the chewing, but ultimately work on rewarding that tolerance with treats so pup won't obsess over chewing it anyway. Finally, I would choose a collar that's more chew proof, like a double layer leather, ballistic nylon, metal infused, or thick neoprene type - the kind used for water sports and with a fake leather look. The tick will be shopping around to find something durable, that's not too heavy, and small enough for pup's neck circumference. Some dogs chew their collars simply because its a convenient chew toy right by their head and it eleviates boredom. In those cases you want to make the chewing less satisfying and harder. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Feb. 6, 2023

Dog nametag icon

Bella

Dog breed icon

Shih Tzu

Dog age icon

6 Months

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found this helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found this helpful

User generated photoUser generated photo

Bella is 6 months old a female she is a happy energetic puppy. But doesn't listen and a little aggressive. I wanted to teach her a few things; like sit, listen and command. To stop biting and potty train her. When I'm walking I almost trip because of her and when I tell her to sit she doesn't listen so I wanted tips on that. Thank you

Jan. 25, 2022

Bella's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Iman, Check out the articles and resources I have linked below for you. Potty training - crate training method or tethering method or both: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Crate training - surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Sit: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit Out - which means leave the area. This is a useful command for pup's biting when pup gets too rough and excited. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method - for biting https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Place - also helpful for the biting when pup gets too rough and needs to calm down somewhere quiet. I would give pup a dog food stuffed chew toy, like a kong on Place or in the crate when pup is too excited to listen anymore and needs to calm down. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Heel- Turns method. I recommend this method for helping pup to learn how to walk with you and not trip you. Keep steps small and quick at first to avoid stepping on pup until they stay out of your way better. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel General listening and gentle respect: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Jan. 25, 2022


Wag! Specialist
Need training help?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2023 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.


© 2023 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.